Craftsman, historian, dad of four, Gary Drake’s a philanthropist too

| November 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

HE LEARNED construction skiils at a group home for troubled youths.

Gary Drake, founder of Drake Construction, works with affluent, discerning clients, including super rich celebrities. But he’s never forgotten where he came from.

As an adolescent growing up without a father figure, he went in and out of juvenile detention centers. The teenager ended up at Hillside Charity in Pasadena, a placement home that offers a fostering environment for kids in need of additional support. “They took me under their wing and helped me find a productive, meaningful life,” said Drake.

“When I was at Hillside, I developed new skills to succeed in life and found positive outlets for my energy.” It was there and through another private work program for youths called CEDU in Running Springs that he learned basic construction skills, eventually becoming a handyman while saving money to attend contractor’s school.

Drake’s big break came when he started working on higher level construction projects with affluent, discerning clients who appreciated his work and skills.

“A high point for me was remodeling a ballroom at the Holmby Hills home of television producer and writer Bradley Bell. I’ve also had the privilege of working for a variety of celebrity clients, including Sting, Rod Stewart, Jim Carrey and Madonna.”

But he’s never forgotten his roots, and continues to support the Hillside Charity. He also lent a hand at Good Shepherd School, where he helped revamp the kindergarten classroom, redesigning the floorplan, adding custom cabinetry and redecorating to create a state-of-the-art learning center, and donated a SmartBoard with touch control that allows teachers and students to work together.

DRAKE CONSTRUCTION added a family room with river rock fireplace to this Craftsman home.

“Helping others sets a good example for my kids,” said the father of four who lives in Brookside.

Drake is a man who clearly loves his job.

“I think of myself as part craftsman, part historian and 100 percent architectural enthusiast. I enjoy bringing construction expertise to my clients and their beautiful homes, and to assemblying just the right team for each job.”

To date, Drake has renovated eight Paul Williams homes, and is currently working on a Gerard Colcord classic ’40s home, as well as several luxury condominiums.

“I genuinely have come to understand what is involved with restoring and enhancing architecturally significant properties. Plus, I get to work with some of the most respected and talented architects in town.”

THE RENOVATED kitchen of the Larchmont Village home.

Drake, whose office is on Larchmont Blvd., says that living near Hancock Park is terrific, because he is able to constantly view and study so many inspirational historic homes—from Tudor to Spanish Mediterranean to Colonial,  “It’s great to live and work in this area… it really is a microcosm of Los Angeles history.  “And having such a large family myself, I have developed a good understanding of what it takes to build a functional and comfortable living environment, whether in a traditional or contemporary residence,” he added.

Tags: , ,

Category: Real Estate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *